Product Type: Hitachi digital cameras
Newest Review: ... screen! As with most digital cameras, one of my other favourite parts of this camera is that you can turn it into a basic SLR camera. No... more
Don`t judge a book by it`s cover.
Member Name: thebigc1690
Advantages: Decent looking and well built.
Disadvantages: Poor functions and features and below average final image quality.
There are many recognised names when it comes to cameras, names like Canon, Nikon, Pentax and even Sony just slip off the tongue and most of us will have seen or used one of these cameras in our time. Hitachi however may be a big name in electronics but in cameras they are not the first brand you would think of, so when I got handed this Hitachi HDC887E, I was very keen to put it through its paces.
For anyone reading this that does not already know, I am a professional photographer who also carries out a lot of testing on cameras and other photography related items in order to give talks and seminars on the items as well as reviewing them in writing, this is how I came to be testing this particular unit.
On removing this camera from its packaging I immediately noticed the build quality to be surprisingly good, the unit is made from aluminium and hard plastic, it has a plastic rear surrounding the screen and an aluminium front. The screen on the rear is a large 3 inch one and it helps the camera to look very good as well as feel like a very up market unit but you should never judge a book by its cover.
So yes it has the looks and feel of a very good little compact camera but can it perform like the big named cameras of this world? Well the first thing I did to find out how well it could function was to put its features to the test. Hitachi is using the features such as anti blur and face detection as selling points so it seemed like a good place to start.
The anti blur is designed to stop blurring in images where the user might have had a little bit of hand shake whilst taking the photo, most compacts come with this setting these days and some work much better than others, I found the anti blur in this unit to be effective to about 50%, it certainly helped if you had just a little bit of unsteadiness and it also allowed you to get slightly better results at full zoom but when compared to even the cheapest Sony Cyber shots and other big brand name compacts out there it simply could not compete.
People who have read my camera reviews before will already know that I am not a big fan of the face detection settings in compact cameras, they can do a job in DSLR`s though I never use them myself but in compacts the sensors are too small to make proper use of this function and although the very high end Sony Cyber shots almost pull it off they are the only ones that get good results from this function and of all the others I have used I would have to say that this Hitachi was the poorest of all.
The camera of course has many other functions and features built in, some good and some bad but all are functions and features which can be found in pretty much any compact these days so there is nothing stand outish about this camera at all and many of the features you now expect from compacts are sadly missing, there are 21 scene modes built in to this unit and I reckon about ten of them at most actually set the cameras setting to anything like they should be for capturing the specific images.
The highest ISO setting available from this camera is 1600 instead of the 3200 that most come with and even at 1600 the images are virtually unusable. For anyone not familiar with what the ISO settings are, they are the alternative to film speeds in old film cameras and the higher the ISO the lower the light you can shoot in, however with a raised ISO comes noise and blocky images, most compacts will shoot successfully up to about 1600 ISO but this one could not produce useable images over 800 ISO.
There are some good points to this camera, the main one being that the people at Hitachi have had the sense to use a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery instead of the dreaded AA`s that some manufacturers still insist on using, the camera is also very easy to use and as I mentioned at the beginning it looks and feels good in the hand but sadly this is not enough for me to recommend the camera to anyone as there are so many things that let it down elsewhere.
The final image quality is no better than ok even when used in good light and once you take away the good light and try to capture images in slightly darker conditions the images are sadly lacking any real quality and there are some real issues with purple fringing and the ability to enlarge these images is not good because even though the camera has a large 8 megapixels, the noise in the images means that when you try to enlarge even to about an 8X10 means that you also enlarge the pixilation and noise and the picture becomes very uncomfortable to look at.
3 x optical zoom.
4 x digital zoom.
3in LCD screen.
Digital anti blur.
In-camera red eye fix.
SD memory card compatible.
32Mb internal memory.
Movie capture with sound.
Maximum ISO range: 1600.
21 scene modes.
TO SUM UP:
The Hitachi HDC887E may be just about suitable to someone with very basic camera needs and as it can now be bought for around the £50 mark I guess it does now have a place in the market but at its original selling price of over £80 there were dozens of better options out there. Even now I feel there are Kodak cameras available up to 10 megapixels for a little over the price of this one and still under £60 which will give you far better final image quality and therefore should really be a better choice.
You certainly should not allow the face detection and anti-blur functions that this offers that the less expensive Kodak's do not, become a reason to choose this camera over a Kodak because they simply do not do a very good job anyway so you are as well as not to have them. For me this camera has good build quality and decent looks but very little else to offer.
LOOKS - 7/10
BUILD QUALITY - 8/10
EASE OF USE - 9/10
IMAGE QUALITY - 4/10
FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES - 4/10
VALUE FOR MONEY - 5/10 (only at its reduced price of under £60)
OVERALL - 6/10
Thanks for reading.
Summary: Better cameras available at similar prices.
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